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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) Author Mark Bowden; Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim-American elected to Congress. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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PG

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

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mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Manhattan 17, Us 14, Fema 12, Sandy 10, New York 8, Bellevue 7, Eliot 6, Nyu 4, California 4, Carolyn Maloney 3, New Jersey 3, Erroll Louis 2, Erroll 2, Pennsylvania 2, Queens 2, New York City 2, Boston 2, Brooklyn 2, Allstate 2, Chris Christie 2,
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  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.  (2012) Author Mark Bowden; Rep. Keith  
   Ellison, the first Muslim-American elected to Congress. New. (CC)...  

    October 31, 2012
    5:00 - 5:59pm PDT  

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all right "viewpoint" is next. we'll see you soon. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is a special two-hour addition edition of "viewpoint." hurricane sandy may be heading to pennsylvania but the damage left in its wake has been devastating. devastating snowstorms in west virginia and high waves that brought shipments to a shop in lake michigan. the damage felt at the seaside communities and jersey shore and coastal areas in and around new york city. after two days of suspended animation, wall street was up and operating on generator power, but the rest of lower manhattan remains dark, and the
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city subways and commuter rails which bring millions to work etch day have just barely begun to return to service. with some tunnels still full of seawater the damage will not be repaired overnight. two days after sandy made landfall emergency officials report at least 63 dead, including as many as 30 in new york and eight in new jersey. 6 million homes and businesses in 17 states without power. including around 650,000 in new york city alone. and costs to the country's economy estimated between $10 billion and $20 billion and growing. we're going to talk about the political, economic and environment implications of hurricane sandy for the next two hours, including how this natural disaster has linked this year's prominent foes, president obama andries and chris christie.
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both told reporters that they were determined to repair and rebuild the damage even as they praised each other's forms the crisis. >> the things we need to do is to make sure power is restored as quickly as possible. make sure people have clean drinking water hospitals are taken care of the way we need to and kids are back to school. i'm please to report that the president has sprung into action immediately to help us get us those things while we were in the car riding together. i appreciate that. he has worked extremely closely with me since the storm hit. this is our sixth conversation oversince the weekend. i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and the people of our state.
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>> obama: at the top of my list i have to say that governor christie throughout this process has been responsive. he has been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm and i think the people of new jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back even stronger than before. so i just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership. i want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process the lines men the firefighters, the folks who were in here shoveling out people who were supposed to get the hell out and didn't, you helped to save a lot of lives and a lot of property. our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones. it's true because of good preparation the loss of life was kept lower than it might have been. but for those individual
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families obviously you know, their world has been torn apart. we need to make sure that everybody whose lost a loved one knows they're in our thoughts and prayers. i speak for the whole country there. for those like the people i just had a chance to meet on this block and throughout new jersey and throughout the region whose lives have been up ended, my second message is we are here for you. we will not forget. we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you have rebuilt. we have over 2,000 fema personnel who are on the ground right now. their job now that we're moving out of the search and rescue phase, is to make sure that they're going out and talking to individual communities so people know exactly how they can get the help that they need. yesterday, i had a chance to speak to the ceos of the
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utilities from all across the country. a lot of states that were spared that were not hard hit or some states as far away as california, they have pledged to start getting equipment crews etc. here into new jersey and new york and connecticut as quickly as possible. as power starts coming back on, we want to make sure that people can also get to work. there are a lot of folks in jersey who work in new york, in the city, and in other places where transportation may be hobbled. one of the things that i mentioned to the governor is the possibility of us using federal assets military assets as well as taking inventory of assets from around the country that can be brought in so that we can help people get to their work. we're going to have a lot of work to do. i don't want anybody to feel that some how this is all going to get all cleaned up overnight.
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i want to make sure that people have realistic expectations, but what i can promise is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done. we're not going to tolerate red tape. we're not going to tolerate bureaucracy, and i instituted a 15-minute rule, you urn everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it's the mayor's, the governor's, county officials, if they need something, we figure out a way to say yes. >> eliot: for more on the crisis left by hurricane sandy in and around new york and new jersey let's go to "abc news" correspondent brandy hit in lower manhattan. thanks for joining us. >> hi, eliot. >> eliot: what is the latest you can report in terms of transportation hospitals power, evacuation, what have you heard most recently from those in charge. >> there is a lot to update for you. first when it comes to power. the power is slowly starting to
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come back online in lower manhattan. that's a good sign. when it comes to transportation we know there is limited subway service tomorrow morning. in manhattan you can't get around on the subways because many of them are still underwater. but we saw traffic backups throughout the day because of people trying to get back to work. when it comes to the airport two of the three major airports are operational. and we learned that laguardia will be opening tomorrow with limited service. we're not out of the woods yet. there are power outages in this area. bellevue hospital is being evacuated by national guard troops. they've been without power for several days. they've been running on temporary generators, but the conditions were getting so bad that they decided to go in and get these folks to other hospitals, eliot. >> eliot: brandi, let's start with a an ember of good news, subways are beginning to roll.
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midtown but not below. where is the cut off. lower manhattan still will not have subway service? >> lower manhattan will not. the cut off is 34th street. the big flooding took place down at battery park and the southern end of manhattan. that's where they saw flooding all the way up to the ceiling. they'll cut it off at 34th starting tomorrow. it could be several more days, they believe until the subway system is fully operational. >> eliot: i can tell you have not been in and around midtown. the gridlock was beyond anything i had ever seen. we're beginning to get those subways to move and relief the pressure above ground, and hope hopefully getting things moving below ground. the hospital that is especially treacherous when there is no power in its surrounding neighbor. what triggered it, and what is the prognosis. i heard that nyu was being evacuated at one point.
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>> well, nyu was evacuated immediately. when the hurricane came onshore in new jersey, power went out in manhattan. what was scary, and at myu med center. they did not have backup generators. they realized they were not going to have power--period. that night in the dark they started he is supreme courting supreme --started escorting critical care babies. including babies, they had to pump air into them manually as they moved them out. there was a sea of ambulances just going through. now when it comes to bellevue, bellevue did have some generators up and running throughout this whole ordeal. one of them was underwater and it had issues. they realized the bathroom situation was not getting good. it was starting to deteriorate as the day went on. now that things have calmed down with the emergency crews in the
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city, they decided to go in with national guard troops tonight. they'll be taken to several different hospitals as well. >> eliot: if you close bellevue and nyu you're taking two of the major hospitals in lower manhattan off the grid. that's is a treacherous scary situation. when you find out that your backup power doesn't exist in the middle of crisis, not a good situation. power, that is central piece to this. any time estimate possible? hundreds of thousand of people, millions in the whole suburban area. what is the news from con ed. >> there is a little bit of good news. originally we had 8 million people without power throughout the region, we're talking about the extensive region in pennsylvania, maryland and northeast. now those numbers have come down to 6 million without power. they are making progress as sandy continues to move out. here in lower manhattan not
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fully with power yet. they say it won't be until the weekend until they can get most of everyone back online here. i didn't know this, i'm originally from california they're bringing in utility workers from across the country including california to this area, 4,000 of them from out of the region to help them get this power back online. the issue that you have is in places like connecticut there are so many downed trees. it's not like something that they can string up a line quickly. they have to go through each one of these areas. new jersey, the devastation there. people are not even going to be able to go back to those homes for several days either. >> eliot: the good news about cables above grounds you can see when they've been damaged and you can get to them quickly. bad news, the trees bring them down. underground, bad news, water can get to them. you're from california so we'll end this by saying thank you to the californians for coming to help us out.
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they've done it in the past and we need it. we'll be chatting with you later in the show. carolyn maloney joins us next. we're ready to push. >> current tv knows there are two sides to every story. >> i have no control on my side! >> this is south jet 227, we are in a dive! here we go! brace for impact! >> you saved a lot of lives. << uh! >> denzel washington saving the day. >> he was very worried. >> looks like a cool character. >> he reminds you of. >> sully. >> the guy who landed the plane in the hudson. >> he has to be a hero. >> he definitely a hero, yea. >> now, what if you heard the other side of the story? >> i had a couple beers the night before the flight. >> you had alcohol in your system. that could be life in prison. >> are you hiding something? >> well, there's a darker side to this guy. >> makes it a lot more complicated. >> there's more depth there. >> he's not god himself. >> so it makes it much more interesting. >> you saved my mom. >> it's much more intriguing now. >> while there are two sides to
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every story... >> it's a lie. ... in the end, there's only one truth. >> flight. only in theaters november 2nd.
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>> eliot: the new york city area has been devastated with dozens of deaths and property damage. many are still without power after the storm and may be so for days or weeks. for more on the local response on the tragedy i'm journeyed with carolyn congressman carolyn maloney from one of the most diverse communities in the country in the borough of queens, and you're my congresswoman. i'm a constituent. >> do you have problems? >> eliot: i have many but i won't belabor them. your district goes down manhattan, a big piece that does not have power. any news from con ed, how have
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they been responding. >> we've been on daily conference calls. they say the power will be repaired in manhattan in the next two or three days, queens the next two or three days. roughly 250,000 people are without power in manhattan. 100,000 in queens and 100,000 in brooklyn. i'm running in a new district that has a swath of brooklyn in it they're working hard. i've then seen new yorkers so united to get through this. i was in town yesterday just working with people, and everybody was pitching in. everybody was directing traffic or helping people. a lot of stores were closed because people could not get in to work. >> eliot: there is devastation. small businesses that have been flooded, basements where the equipment was. restaurants, i've been hearing stories about basements where they stored their equipment and machinery that they used to cook
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was destroyed by the flood. how do we get money to those small businesses quickly. >> it's not just the destruction of the equipment they don't have refrigeration. these restaurant and stores are going to lose all their dairy products and other things. we need to get the fba down there in the neighborhood with loans, i was talking to fema today to see if there was anything we can do. we need generators. talking to ray lahood, secretary of transportation, and they had a fema--they're shipping down 200 generators for back up generators, maybe that can help some of these small businesses, but first we need to get the water out of our subway system, and all of the tunnels connecting manhattan and queens are totally flooded. before they can start repairing it, we got to get it out. con ed doesn't have the power.
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the federal government--if there was ever an argument for fema and federal cooperation, this makes the case. it's not just new york, it's the whole eastern seaboard. >> eliot: you touched on 18 different issues we're going to come back to if we have time in the next 17 minutes. but i want to touch on the transportation. you and i worked on the second avenue subway connector the two biggest constructions in the nation are right here. >> $48 billion in federal eight and thousands of jobs. and i want to add we added $350 million as a down payment on high speed rail between new york and boston. wouldn't that be great development. >> eliot: what is also critical in addition to adding as a second avenue, high speed rail
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to boston is maintaining the infrastructure. one of the things that we learned in the last 48 hours is how vulnerable we are to the sort of flood such a this, which we never thought would happen, but it did. this is where federal dollars need to be focused as well. >> absolutely. they're beginning with the generators and the army corp of engineers is down taking care of it with personnel. i just did a delegation letter trying to get more emergency funds for transportation. because they're on a slim budget as you know from your days in albany. they don't have the money to do the backup from this needed repair that we need right now. we need more federal dollars going to transportation, and all these areas and you were talking about bellevue. i toured nyu medical today. he was in the hospital with pneumonia, and that hospital is in devastation. all their major equipment was in the basement.
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it's all been destroyed. the stench is unbelievable. it's only been two days. they talked about evacuating in the middle of the night. 300 patients coming down 15 stories with little babies, giving them oxygen. heroic heroic. they didn't lose one life. >> eliot: congresswoman, babies that need this intensive care being evacuated with hand-held respirators is tragic and highlights what we thought was not sufficient with all the traumas from katrina and manmade traumas, we have not thought about what we need to do to protect ourselves from these natural and unnatural attacks. hopefully this is what this wake-up call will do for us. >> well certainly they won't be leaving major equipment in basements. major mris were down underwater. they were pumping it out and it's all saltwater, which is very destructive. it will be millions of dollars.
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>> eliot: and saltwater is enormously destructive. that's part of what caused the con ed transformers to blow up. i'm worried about what it will take to rebuild this infrastructure. that makes the case. cost will be vast. >> you can see the gridlock that we're experiencing. if you try to move through manhattan it takes you hours. it shows how dependent we really are on the subway system. we have to get it up and running. our hospitals functioning again. it's a huge challenge. i've never seen the federal state and city government work more more hormonously. and the president just said, i'm telling everyone to get back to them in 15 minutes. i can get every commission on the phone, every secretary on the phone. >> eliot: tomorrow morning if 60 minutes goes by, that's a tough standard, and he means it. >> they are they're responding
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unbelievably. they have a special meeting just on lagon and bellevue on how they can help with emergency funding to help towards-- >> eliot: these are two of four or five major hospitals--hospital structure that are the point where emergency care patients go when they have serious problems. let's talk about an issue that has not been discussed enough over the past year or two climate change. i don't want to suggest that this hurricane is because of it. >> i was amazed in the debates it wasn't mentioned. >> eliot: not once, not once. can we bring that issue back to the national debates? >> al gore did a great job with "inconvenient truth" and with his movie and his speeches, we need to bring it back and focus onon it. thank you for raising it, and look at the water level. so much of manhattan is now in a hurricane zone. it had to be evacuated. even on 92nd street they were evacuating people in hurricane zone on 92nd street. and then of course all downtown
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we had 74 different sites where people could go to be protected. if the water just raises one foot we're in trouble. can you imagine if they're predicting two feet a year scenario. >> eliot: scientists said to me, when it goes up one foot, it means one foot laterally in terms of what we have to deal with. you said this to me before. what paul ryan did with fema, the 43% cut is a disastrous public policy. will this now be left on the cutting room floor and will congress understand that fema is essential. >> the case has been made. this is a national disaster. it is crossing 17 different states and 17 different states are facing life-threatening situations and having a federal coordinator, fema is coordinating all of the federal response efforts not only in new york but all across the 17
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states. a case is certainly being made. we're calling fema every other day. >> eliot: if key didn't learn it in katrina, we are learning it now. the romney-ryan budget cuts fema 43%. that's simply outrageous. bad, horrendous public policy. >> and those who advocate that say it can be handled by the private sector. >> eliot: they don't flow what they're talking about. congresswoman carolyn maloney my congresswoman, many thanks for joining me tonight. >> great to see you. >> eliot: other local officials from the storms will join us, and new meaning to the republican line we built that. that's next.
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>> eliot: who built that was the question that framed the election for a month during the convention season. as the republican party tried to mock the sensible and correct argument made by president obama, the government had, in
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fact, built much of what made our economy tick. from many of the essential pieces of our infrastructure to thethe great public universities that produce ground-breaking technology and funding research and development all of this is what permits and helps our economy to forge ahead. and put aside for the moment that the speakers at the republican convention took the president's statement totally out of context asserting that the president claimed government built the businesses, not the surrounding infrastructure that permits businesses to drive. ignoring the facts speaker after speaker came to the podium at the republican convention and said mockingly we built that. as if to debunk the need for government. the speeches, in fact, captured the disdain that romney encouraged for all things governmental until his recent late night conversation to moderate mitt. well, i have a slight re
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reformulation of the question for the folks who live in the path of sandy. who rebuilt that? who will be there to help fix the critical infrastructure that sandy crippled. suddenly chris christie is appreciate of fema funding, the same agency that the romney-ryan budget would utterly decimate. suddenly even republicans are talking respectfully of the need for the mass transit system to work, for bridges to be reopened for all the government actions and investment that were heretofore were mere impediments in their view to the private sector. it's too bad that it takes a tragedy like sandy to get some folks to appreciate the essential role that government investments play in our society. but maybe after the storm has passed, and the election has faded at least a week or two in our memories we can agree that government really did build something critical, that we all need and should be thankful for. that's my view. importantly to take the time to learn about each candidate's stance on the issues that matter
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to you. to help you make informed decisions, watch current tv's politically direct lineup. only on current tv. vote smart. our democracy depends on an informed electorate.
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>> eliot: as many in new york city attempt to return to some form of normalcy in their lives the two biggest obstacles have proven to be public transportation and power. on both of these fronds, governor cuomo and mayor bloomberg in separate press conferences preach patience. >> patience and tolerance on the traffic conditions and the power restoration i can assure you that everyone is doing everything that they can and are working very hard. these are significant challenges that we're all facing.
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>> everyone in city government is working 24 hours a day to get this city back on track including working with the mta and con ed to immediate the two biggest challenges that we face, transportation and let trick power. >> eliot: now with the man who knows more about this town than anyone else, errol l lewis, thank you for joining us. is the public reacting with shea sense when you see the gridlock and the thousands of people forced out of their payment. >> it's patient for new york. for everyone else in the world to have the mood gun to turn after 48 hours is a little quick. there are people who are gone out in the rock aways who say they're going away from being curious about the novelty of their boardwalk being destroyed to wondering when the hell someone is going it pick it up
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and get it out of their front yard. we're in a neighborhood that is completely blacked out. it's darker, scaryier than after 911, and then to be told that is the case of the indefinite future. one day goes by. two days go by, and then requirements like you cannot come in with a car unless you have three passages. know that the trains won't get you there. the cabs won't take you there, and you're required to get to work. that's where people are frustrate good there was loss of life tragedy, neighborhoods destroyed by fire and the onslaught of water. at the other end of the spectrum the enormous discomfort of people being forced out of their homes. they don't have power. the inconveniences and tragedies run the entire spectrum. was the city well prepared for this? or was this something that struck out of the blue.
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>> no, they were prepared. we just had a hurricane a little over a year ago. we had been in this trial. the subway was built in 1904. for the first time they shut the whole thing down for hurricane irene. we did it for the second time just a few days ago. there was rehearsal and practice, and drills. there was interagency cooperation that you don't normally see. i think government at the leadership level can be proud that they pulled off a big task with minimal fatalities, but that's not going to be the only metric that they're measured by. >> eliot: one of the stories that will bear examination are the hotels that need--the hospitals that needed to be evacuated, whether they had the power to survive something like this when nyu and bellevue are evacuated. that's a major shock to the hospital similar. eerroll will be with us, and bill
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de blasiio will be here with us. what do you see from your advantage ant point in terms of the city's respond and the city and responding communities so many felt the devastating effects of responding to this. >> it's a mixed bag eliot. the cities brought i agree with erroll this was an extraordinary storm on the level we've never dealt with before. on the other hand, the there was urgency in terms of evacuation. i'm not sure what happened on the ground with as strong as it could have been in terms of really pressing people to leave door to door, house to house. we need to know more about that for the future. i was out in the rockaway area,
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horrible situation fires in addition to the flooding. it looks like more public presence there would have been helpful in the last 48 hours in terms of food and water being provided. very few ways for people to get to food and water out there. >> eliot: let me ask you this, bill in terms of the infrastructure of the city, this is something when i was back in government we would look at with frequency. would there be a way to prevent the tunnels from flooding. that is going to be a major impediment to restoring the transportation to the city. can that be addressed? >> that has to be going forward. this is really the question for our times. if it is really global warming there are other factors we are in a new phase to reduce the kind of surges that we've had before or rebuilding the protection around the subway system. this could be a huge, huge
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endeavor. this might be part of the landscape going forward we can't have our transportation knocked out. it's the essence of our economy and basic life of our city. >> bill this, is erroll. when we hear discussion about this, after the hurricane last year one of the reports came out recommending because there might be more of these storm surges that there be some procedures, some permitting build in so that you don't build stuff that is going to be knocked out when the next storm surge comes on. it set off a fight between the city and the state because the minute you start talking about what is going to be zoned how it's going to be zoned and what private land owners are going to be able to do or not allowed to do. i recall that ended in an impasse. is that conversation still going on. >> it is and it's going to go on with a lot more urgency now. now we're going to really have to reconsider how much priority
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we put on these safety and structural issues. there have been focus on building structures that are better at resisting flooding. that has happened consistently in coastal areas but i don't think there has been the sense of what is coastal could mean blocks inland. and what we've seen today is beyond coastal and what is affected. this is going to be a reexamination of how we handle infrastructure and planning. it has to. if we miss this warning signal, we're fools. >> eliot: someone said if this was an once in a century storm we're now going to be facing them once in every 20 years because of climate change and that is a debate that will continue for some period of time. but when the seas went up a foot over the past 50 years and that is expected to double and triple over the next century this is something that cannot be ignored. let's go back to the other end of the spectrum in terms of threat to life, and he mentioned
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that you put up on your website price gouging after the onslaught of the hurricane. is that a major issue? are merchants being responsive on this, and what should you do? >> thank got it does not appear to be a major trend so far but it's a real issue. consumers, should they find any price gouging, no one knows better than you eliot that it is illegal and they should reach out to elected officials or our office (212)669-7250 or www.advocatedotnyc.gov . they can reach out to the attorney general's office. so far it's not a trend. but what i'm concerned about next are insurance claims and how those are handled. it's going to be a very dicey situation for a lot of folks. i've seen businesses in coney island the beach, the rock
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rockaways, whole commercial strips knocked out. we have to help them get the fema loans and get the support that they have coming to them, and we have to make sure that insurance companies treat this situation with respect and treat it promptly. >> eliot: you're exactly right. there are going to be parts of this city where transportation and pow is restored, and other communities completely destroyed, shopping districts homes, residential areas completely gone and their infusion of capital that they'll need to are rebuild, the likes we haven't seen here. we've seen in 9/11, but not since then. we have errol advocate bill de blasio, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> eliot: we have erroll louis we have more coming right up.
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>>and now to my point. that is a whole bunch of bunk! the powerful my steal an election but they cannot steal democracy. >> sandy hit new york city in the surrounding city and left un unprecedented damage. we have erroll louis, thanks for sticking around. now we have mayor kelaher, thank you for being here.
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>> it's a pleasure to be here. sandy has made tomorrow's river the katrina of new jersey, that's for sure. >> eliot: for folks who may not know, you have 100,000 folks who live in tomorrow's river. that's a lot of folks. describe for us how widespread is the devastation? >> right along the coast, we have 44 square miles and part of our population is on the barrier island, which is separated from the mainland. there is a bridge over the coastal water way and cause way and the place that really got hit was our township ortley beach. gas leaks all over the place houses on the beach are tipped over. it's just total devastation.
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all the power lines are down. and it was obviously due to this storm surge. our boardwalks are gone, and just two years ago we built a brand new lifeguard tower public rust room restroom, and i recognize the masonry on the sand. >> had that ever happened before in your experience? >> not right here. i remember the storm of march 1962, and they absolutely made a new inlet where the ocean met the bay. but the surge did all of this damage. this was surge flooding and not wind damage. >> eliot: how many folks are displaced? how many people are now looking for housing? when you look at the pictures, people can't just move back any time soon. >> we're going to have an emergency staff meeting to try to get a handle on this. first of all we couldn't get to
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the cause way because it was so flooded. we had almost 1,000 people being sheltered right now in some of our high schools. a portion of them are from the barrier island area. thank goodness it was this time of year and not the summertime when the population quadruples because it's a very popular summer beach resort. to give you an exact figure i would have to be guessing. we made that an mandatory evacuation district under orders of the governor. we warned everyone to leave. of course, everybody doesn't heed that, so even as late as this afternoon which were still picking people up and removing them from the place. when these people in the shelters are going to be able to go home, i don't know. they're in the schools. the schools have been closed since monday. they want to open next monday. by tomorrow we're going to have
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to get some better idea of what we can do to help these people. the shelters, you know they're really temporary. army cots, a blanket and it's not very satisfactory for anything long term. i don't know when anybody will go back to the barrier island. >> eliot: the way you describe it is exactly what i'm wondering, will folks be able to return two six nine months from now as you rebuild the economy. what does this for your city, town, the region surrounding you? >> the beaches in the summertime are really economic boon to the economy here because so many thousands and thousands come here to enjoy the beaches and the ocean. so that's not going to happen for a while that's for sure. the other problem is that all these houses that have been knocked off their foundations are uninhabitable could very well drop off, which could cause
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tax rolls, which could cause a real revenue problem for the municipality. it's going to be a serious problem. >> mr. mayor, the boardwalk and the beach is the beach gone? is it damaged? is it recoverable? >> it varies in different places but the beach right now we've always had sand dunes in front of the boardwalk. it's been a natural barrier. itright now the boardwalk the boards are gone, but the pilings are ten feet in the air which means eight feet or ten feet of sand dune are gone, and then below that another ten feet. we've lost sand from the beach level. the water is lapping up. if we had another storm right
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now, the whole ocean is going to be in the streets. >> eliot: mayor keleher thank you for joining us. our thoughts and prayers are with you. >> i appreciate it. >> eliot: wow, that is devastation. you look at those pictures, parts of new york city looks like that. my goodness, you see complete--communities completely gone. >> that's exactly right. the thing with new york city, it has the wherewithal to recoop it's losses because there are billions of economic activity every single day. if you're a town that relies on the tourist trade in the summer, and you don't have much to draw on without the beach, what do you do? >> eliot: i have friends who love the place, but as you look at t it's gone. fema will have to step in with a huge infusion of money. this is a process to build a commune likecommunity like that from the
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ground up. >> the cycle, a year, two years four years will it take a decade. >> eliot: i hate to raise this metaphor 9/11, and how many years later we see the freedom tower is approaching conclusion, those things take a long, long time. the political cycle as you pointed out the political patience is shorter. coming back, will the public tomorrow begin to get more edgy? the mayor seems to have maintained the public support. will that continue? >> he has. we'll see. it will be put to a big test tomorrow because it's impossible to get into lower manhattan. the mayor is imposing something that he has not done very often but he is now requiring high occupancy vehicles meaning you have to have three people in your car or you may not cross anany of the tolls or bridges. >> eliot: it will be a sign of renewal and rejuvenation, but it
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comes across the 59th street bridge. that's why gridlock midtown was crazy. will they have it. >> people will be complaining about where it starts, the staten island. the staten island borough president has pointed out they've had grievous losses, tragic stories of people--a two-year-old and a four-year-old, there is a search going on right now. they were swept into a marsh. no one can find them. the marathon of the kooky costumes and all the levity with it, but the city has to recoupe economically, and new yorkers will do what they do best, which is fight with each other. >> eliot: we certainly do that well but today is halloween. with the juxtaposition of this being halloween, people going
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out in his costumes. >> canceled. >> eliot: it's all canceled. the marathon will prove that we want life to go on, we're suffering, and we simply can't do anything else. erroll louis. thank you for joining us, the man who knows more about new york than just about anybody else maybe the mayor would dig agree with that. we'll have more on the destruction of the hurricane coming up next. only on current tv. so vote and vote smart. to miss my show is if that's the only time you can get to a polling place. make sure that voting is your highest priority on election day. besides, you can always dvr my show. you really cant' dvr the future of the country. to help you make informed decisions, watch current tv's politically direct lineup. only on current tv.
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